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Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 01:38 PM   #1
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Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051203/...soccer_best_dc

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Belfast gave soccer great George Best a hero's send-off on Saturday when tens of thousands turned out to pay their final respects to their local legend, who died last week after losing a highly public battle with alcoholism.
(Emphasis mine.) Er, what? Maybe I'm just touchy after attending a funeral last Saturday of a 53-year-old relative who's been battling cancer for years--and it is a battle of multiple breast and brain operations, chemotherapy and radiology--but I had never heard of battling alcoholism before.

Is battling alcoholism solitaire battle then?

Just griping on the concept. I think I've heard the name George Best but know not much else about him or his health/vice issues. I'm not picking on him.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Alcoholism is a diease - it is a battle. Period.

Any other opinion is B.S. I know from first hand experience and thirty years of living in New Orleans.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 02:33 PM   #3
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I have no experience with alcoholism, so perhaps I'm just being touchy. It wouldn't be the first time.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I agree that it is definitely a disease! My mother, father and one of my brothers were alcoholics. Fortunately, they were recovering alcoholics for several years before their deaths. They all died fairly young of health problems, but not of liver failure. They were 63, 61 and 45 years old when they died. I wonder if their living such a hard life made them more susceptible to health problems. My parents alcoholism ended up with five children being in the foster care system.

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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 03:24 PM   #5
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

It makes physical changes to the brain. *It is an addiction. *
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

When I lived in England, 1969-1972, Georgie Best played for Manchester United. He was one of the greatest and the flashiest soccer stars.. ever. Had a big booze problem, but he lived large. Until the end, that is.. I think he just had a liver transplant prior to his death.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 04:13 PM   #7
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I think I may know where you are coming from Big Money.* It is easy to think of alcoholism and drug addiction as a voluntary affliction, one not worthy of our concern and certainly not to be confused with the problems and battles associated with cancer etc.
I must admit I grow weary of the standing O's passed out for some Hollywood type who just finished rehab.* Yeah it's good that he/she took the step, but hey--how about a standing O once in a while for the folks who are accomplished in whatever, and who never went down the path of drugs/booze?

But in the end, I must agree with the previous posters in that these are addictions and from what I know it is a battle to beat them.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 04:28 PM   #8
 
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-03-2005, 11:08 PM   #9
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
53-year-old relative who's been battling cancer for years--and it is a battle of multiple breast and brain operations, chemotherapy and radiology--but I had never heard of battling alcoholism before.

Is battling alcoholism solitaire battle then?
It is a disease with a genetic component and a strong physical brain/endorphin addiction.

But it doesn't have to be a solitary battle.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 06:32 AM   #10
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Just don't talk to me about addiction and my skinking cigarettes!!!!!!!

I know, I know, I know.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 08:08 AM   #11
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I think the thing we all have to remember, is that not everyone is "wired" the same, for lack of a better word. What might seem like a simple no-brainer for one person could be an impossible, out-of-reach achievement for another.

For instance, I know people who have gotten addicted to cigarettes and, no matter how hard they try, they just can't stay off of them. Sometimes when they quit, they gain weight or have some other problem arise.

But then, back in the late 50's or whenever the surgeon general's warnings first came out about cigarettes, my Grandmom and Granddad, who had been chain smokers for decades, were able to quit almost immediately. I think Granddad told me it took him three days to quit, and he's never had a desire for it since.

And as a child from a marriage that was broken up mostly because of alcoholism, I can definitely see it as being a disease. Maybe not the same type of disease as cancer, leukemia, etc, but a disease nonetheless.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 08:24 AM   #12
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
I think the thing we all have to remember, is that not everyone is "wired" the same, for lack of a better word.* What might seem like a simple no-brainer for one person could be an impossible, out-of-reach achievement for another.

For instance, I know people who have gotten addicted to cigarettes and, no matter how hard they try, they just can't stay off of them.* Sometimes when they quit, they gain weight or have some other problem arise.

But then, back in the late 50's or whenever the surgeon general's warnings first came out about cigarettes, my Grandmom and Granddad, who had been chain smokers for decades, were able to quit almost immediately.* I think Granddad told me it took him three days to quit, and he's never had a desire for it since.

And as a child from a marriage that was broken up mostly because of alcoholism, I can definitely see it as being a disease.* Maybe not the same type of disease as cancer, leukemia, etc, but a disease nonetheless.
My Dad (88) said that quitting smoking was the hardest thing he ever did in his life. At this stage, he has also cut way back on his drinking.
In his younger days, a couple of breweries had to work overtime to stay
ahead of him.

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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 12:04 PM   #13
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Interesting that few call niccotine addiction "a disease".* It seems to me that almost any self destructive behavior could be proclaimed such.* Not a PC observation, I know.* I don't pretend to understand what it's like to suffer with these problems, but in the end recovery is a function of will power.* Labelling doesn't change that.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 12:34 PM   #14
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I understand where BMJ is coming from - it's hard to accept as a disease something that the sufferer has the ability to change.* *

But the fact is an alcoholic can never be "cured" of the disease, he/she can stop drinking for 20 years, but will always have the disease, and always be at risk of being sucked back into drinking.* So you don't "recover" through willpower, you just treat the disease (don't drink) in a way that keeps it from destroying you.

I lived with an alcoholic for 20 years - he never could come to terms with it or "recover" for more than about a 18 month stretch.* Its a sad thing to watch.

I agree nicotine is probably more addictive than alcohol, but I don't know if it has the same or similar physiological components that merit the definition "disease."

Our society now considers chronic obesity a disease too.* I'm not sure what I think about that.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 05:08 PM   #15
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I have a friend who has had some spells of problem drinking in his past. He told me that when he first tried alcohol as a teenager he had a feeling like "THIS is what my life has been missing". It apparently was like a switch that had been waiting for the stimulus had toggled.

It is a bit scary to think that something might grab you that hard and that suddenly.

Disclaimer: The above is to be taken for the anecdote that it is, and in no way makes or disproves any scientific facts.

cheers,
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 10:04 PM   #16
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Yeah that's cool, is it medical research opening new doors or is it just an extension of our victim society?* *
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-04-2005, 10:55 PM   #17
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I think there is definitely something to genetics. I don't think I could get fat if I tried, yet others struggle mightily to avoid it.

If a lot of activity is built into daily life, and if a normally attentive person can easily get wholesome non fattening food there would be less obesity. Clearly, a disease didn't get created in the US between 1960 when few people were obese, and now, when many are. Yet equally clearly, it must have been easier to stay normal weight back then or so many ordinary people would not have been normal weight.

I believe it is also true that the medical profession has a dog in the fight. They can declare obesity a disease, and then soon insurance will be required to pay for treatments. Good way to keep fully employed.

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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-05-2005, 01:07 AM   #18
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

I won’t claim to know anything about alcoholism. But I do object to the proliferation of the word “disease” to apply to things like alcoholism, psychological disorders, obesity, . . .

Traditional disease implies something about detection, treatment and cure. Do you have mononucleosis? You can take a blood sample and measure it. The test produces results that nearly all doctors will agree on. If you have it, there is a treatment. Are you cured? Test the blood again.

I’m not implying that alcoholism is any less of a problem. And I don’t have any reason to believe that victims of alcoholism are any less innocent of fault than victims of traditional disease. But there are not definitive tests that determine if someone is an alcoholic. There are no universal treatments. And there is no time when we can say that someone is cured. Also, there are often many innocents (family, friends, passing motorists) who are victimized by the alcoholism in a way that is far more serious than that produced by traditional illness. The term disease tends to trivialize the impact on them.

It is even more objectionable when mental disorders are described as a disease. This terminology has come to dominate many legal proceedings. “Innocent by reason of insanity” -- What clinical test determined this? None. The person was interviewed. Do all psychiatrists agree? No. Pick 3 psychiatrists and get 4 opinions. When is the patient cured? And what about the victims? Well . . . you can’t hold people responsible if they have a disease.

I don’t want to pretend I know a better way to deal with alcoholism or mental disorders. And I hope this doesn’t come across as if I have no compassion for people who suffer from these things. I simply think that use of the word “disease” has resulted in some negative impact.
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-05-2005, 04:54 AM   #19
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
Well . . . you can’t hold people responsible if they have a disease.

It's the "victim" mentality, or as I like to call it "Oh poor me!" thinking.
If you can't find some person/persons/company to blame your problems on............well, it must be a disease. In any case "someone must pay"
cause it's someone's fault. Not fate; not bad luck; not long term habits;
etc. Even as I type, on the TV is a program with "workers" whining
about the big bad companies cutting their benefits.
Rugged individuals built this country. There are damn few left.

EOR (End of rant)

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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?
Old 12-05-2005, 09:21 AM   #20
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Re: Gripe: "Lost His Battle With Alcoholism"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG

It is even more objectionable when mental disorders are described as a disease. This terminology has come to dominate many legal proceedings. “Innocent by reason of insanity” -- What clinical test determined this? None. The person was interviewed. Do all psychiatrists agree? No. Pick 3 psychiatrists and get 4 opinions. When is the patient cured? And what about the victims? Well . . . you can’t hold people responsible if they have a disease.
I agree, when it comes to "twinky" defenses. But jurys seem to want to hold people responsible.

When I was in law school I worked in a clinic representing those who were committed to a secure mental hospital. The representation mainly had to do with forced medication. There were a number of murderers and other criminals there. These guys (all men) were so far gone into mental illness that there was no question that they were incompetent. Because of their incompetence, most were never tried for their crimes--but were committed to the state security hospital.

Most of these guys will never get out of the hospital. It would take you two seconds to know that they are seriously mentally ill. I wouldn't put them in the category of "poor me" victims. They barely resembled human beings.

What a strange world we live in.
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